With Christmas fast approaching, children may already be dreaming of St. Nicholas and all the wonderful gifts he brings them. I was surprised to learn that there is an evil version of Santa, known as KRAMPUS.
Krampus is a character from German folklore. He is noted to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology, sharing demonic features like other creatures in Greek mythology, such as satyrs. He is half goat and half-demon, and has a long red tongue. He is rumoured to punish naughty children and/or carry them off to his lair. Krampus usually carries a bundle of birch branches used to punish the children. The stuff of scary dreams for sure.
Well, I do not accept that there are 'naughty' children. I believe that children are the product of their environments, and that they learn what they live.
While working on a mythology assignment, I was not content to create an accurate representation of this evil character in my work. I wanted to put my own spin on it. I chose this character and this assignment as a vehicle to recreate history.
In keeping with my desire to protect the vulnerable, I felt it appropriate for Krampus to be the saviour of the children who are labelled 'naughty'; the children who are treated poorly and wrongfully blamed for their bad behaviours.
In my version, he loads them up in his cart; not to take them to his lair, but to rush them off to Court to bring them justice.
All children need to be protected by those in charge, but when those in charge fail to act, or act with cruelty, the rest of us need to step up and do our part. We all need to understand and teach others that there are other ways to teach children to behave, and "spare the rod". Or in this case, the birch branch!
Unfortunately, having a desire to protect does not always mean that justice prevails. Sometimes the courthouse doors are, literally and figuratively, boarded up. And sometimes there are cracks in the foundation. We cannot save them all, but for some children our efforts recreate their histories and those of future generations.
In the end, we can change the way we view the old stories and approach the future with a different perspective. With photography I have learned to view something negative with a new 'lens' in order to create images that are rewarding and meaningful!
While we cannot change our history, we can change how we see it!